Viewing 32 posts - 41 through 72 (of 72 total)
  • Expensive Stems – Waste of Money ?
  • Premier Icon philjunior
    Free Member

    There isn’t much difference in manufacturing costs on any stem really so I guess it’s just paying for the name.

    This isn’t quite true, CNC machining from billet is quite a bit pricier than forging – and even basic CNC’d stem prices reflect this.

    The problem for me was that I could either get a Brand X stem for a tenner (10.99 perhaps) or a Renthal stem for £70 and they weighed about the same as each other (cheaper CNCd stems were much heavier – and whilst on its own it doesn’t matter, it all adds up when you have an entire bike with parts that each weigh 50 or even 100g more – which is a massive amount on something as small as a stem, really)

    Premier Icon tdog
    Free Member

    Funnduro here fitted to my 29er.
    Wouldn’t want it on an actual enduro bike though as it seems too light and twists/flexes ever so slightly I reckon.

    Eitherthat or my titanium bars are giving me extra comfort ;d

    Premier Icon Singlespeed_Shep
    Free Member

    There isn’t much difference in manufacturing costs on any stem really so I guess it’s just paying for the name.

    Run your fingers around the edges of cheap stem and an expensive one. Any sharp edges and your handlebar will snap.

    I’m not saying everyone should buy £100 stems, but at least look for one from a company with some quality control or give it a good check over yourself and go at it with a file if needs be.

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Full Member

    I go through stems as I like to adjust bike fit. I’ve had a number of cheap roadie stems with vaguely Italian sounding branding; a couple of Truvativ; I’ve had On One and recently a Planet X one – all less than £20.

    The Truvative ones look the part – nicely anodised and finished – except for the white one which was painted and has started to corrode. The On One looks top notch for a machined stem tbh, as do the bars which were similarly cheap as chips. The Planet X one though is painted and looks cheap. But it was £8.

    On my Heihei I had a Syntace F99 stem, in which 99g refers to the weight. That was 105mm and it did flex. Not up and down, and it wasn’t noticeable in use, but I could twist it by pulling on the bars stationary.

    Premier Icon Ecky-Thump
    Free Member

    I love these:

    Syntace Megaforce 2

    Premier Icon chiefgrooveguru
    Free Member

    I did notice a big difference in stiffness between a cheap carbon cycles alloy 65mm stem and a 50mm Renthal – but that’s no surprise when you compare the shapes of them.

    Premier Icon medoramas
    Free Member

    I bought a nice RaceFace stem here some time ago for about 20 quid. It looks awesome.

    Did I feel any difference when it replaced a Merida-branded one on a bike? Not at all. But it looks awesome.

    I wouldn’t buy it new for its full price though.

    Premier Icon davidtaylforth
    Free Member

    I had an old Ritchey stem that didn’t feel quite right. I don’t think it was the stem itself flexing, rather the pissy little face plate that had hardly any contact area with the handlebars.

    Premier Icon honourablegeorge
    Free Member

    Onzadog – Member
    Stems are an interesting one. Mid tang are often forged and high end machined. Gram for gram, forging would give a better stem, but machining looks cool.

    Syncros MegaForce is forged rather than CNC’d, they’re a great wee stem. Stupidly high RRP but you can get them for around half online, and they have a 10 year warranty.

    Premier Icon plus-one
    Free Member

    I baulked at price of new mid to high end stems too 🙁

    Secondhand Thomson £40 like new job done 🙂

    Premier Icon woodster
    Full Member

    I like a nice stem. Thankfully used ones are just as good so eBay will eventually turn up a good deal.

    Had a Kalloy Uno on my road bike, it was very light and very cheap, but it just doesn’t look as nice as a Thomson and I’m not afraid to admit I like my bikes to look good (to me at any rate).

    Premier Icon richardthird
    Full Member

    RSP do a nice 35mm ‘Trail’ stem for about £25. Only the faceplate is branded so shouldn’t offend too much.

    Premier Icon chakaping
    Free Member

    Funnduro here fitted to my 29er.
    Wouldn’t want it on an actual enduro bike though as it seems too light and twists/flexes ever so slightly I reckon.

    They’re OK on a full enduro bike, but the Funn Strippa is slightly beefier and the same price.

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Full Member

    Bike Monger was flogging Crank Bros ones for £40. They looked quite nice, might be worth it for cosmetic reasons. I do need to change the one on my Salsa – the white doesn’t look great and like I said it’s corroding.

    Hmm.. Salsa do stems.. I wonder if it would look cool or just like cheap OEM by matching the bike?

    Premier Icon honourablegeorge
    Free Member

    plus one – Member

    Secondhand Thomson £40 like new job done

    Thomson reckon the face plates of their stems are a consumable and need replacing every so often.

    Premier Icon finbar
    Free Member

    The 130mm stem on my road bike flexes like a MF when I’m sprinting, and it’s a fairly nice one (high-end Deda).

    I’m neither a sprinter nor very strong, so god knows what the pros manage to put theirs through.

    Premier Icon core
    Free Member

    richardthird – Member

    RSP do a nice 35mm ‘Trail’ stem for about £25. Only the faceplate is branded so shouldn’t offend too much.

    This is what I’ve got on my current bike, it’s quite nice in the flesh, the graphics are more subtle than the photos suggest, and you can’t see the face plate when you’re riding!

    😆

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Full Member

    Things are so nice and peaceful over here on the bike forum aren’t they? A nice discussion about stems 🙂

    Premier Icon slimjim78
    Full Member

    When i changed from a Truvativ stem to an Easton Haven 6 years ago, i noticed a massive difference in stiffness.

    I get excited when I look at my Easton stem too.

    Premier Icon Northwind
    Full Member

    sirromj – Member

    So how much flex can you feel in a 40mm stem?

    Depends if you know how expensive it was.

    I just replaced a very cheap Pro with a Renthal and it made no difference whatsoever. Except that it’ll be a wee bit easier to swap 40 and 50mm, which is why I got it. Otherwise, it’s very easy to make a decent stem.

    I always love the Thomson thing- people say it’s worth paying extra for quality, and you say, why do you think it’s quality, and they say “because it’s expensive”. Thomson make shite stems. The bolts are too small and the faceplates routinely crack, they’re literally the only manufacturer in the world that thinks faceplates are a consumable. They’re not even especially light.

    You can also buy bad cheap stems too of course. But if you’re going to buy a bad stem, why make it an expensive one?

    OTOH, one of the magazines reviewed the exact same stem, one branded Answer and one branded Superstar, and one of them was impressively stiff and the other was noticably flexy…

    Premier Icon vincienup
    Free Member

    I didn’t necessarily feel 31.8 was flexy but my first 35mm setup happened because it was in a sale (so cheap) and the right colour. 35 was noticeably stiffer as a pair though – although I’d tend to point the finger more at bars than stems for this.

    Premier Icon funkmasterp
    Full Member

    I used to like a nice stem but ended up with a Brand X one on the current bike. I can’t tell any difference from the Spank or Hope ones I used to have and I really like the fact the X is rather plain. Each to their own though and if you want some shiny shiny I say go for it.

    Premier Icon chiefgrooveguru
    Free Member

    Things are so nice and peaceful over here on the bike forum aren’t they? A nice discussion about stems

    STW became so much less annoying when I bookmarked the bike forum instead of the main forum! 😉

    The consumable Thomson faceplates is madness. I know my Hope stems were rather expensive but I like them, they just work. I’m sure many cheaper stems would work well too but in the scheme of things the extra cost matters little as I change bikes infrequently. I have a Raceface stem on the other bike which doesn’t look as nice but it too doesn’t slip or creak or flex. My Renthal Duo did creak which was infuriating!!!

    Premier Icon chestrockwell
    Full Member

    Back to the original question, there not a waste of money if you don’t think they are. They may not perform any better but nice things are nice so if you want one, they’re worth it. If you are happy with a cheaper one then cool.

    Premier Icon chestrockwell
    Full Member

    The other thing about nice stems, bars, saddles etc is that in the grand scheme of bike things they’re not that expensive. Can I afford gold eagle stuff? No. Can I afford XTR? No. Can I afford a carbon frame? No. Can I afford fancy trinkets up to about £150? Yes. The end.

    Premier Icon riklegge
    Full Member

    Jamesfts: yes, exactly. New bike build, just checking all the bolts, decided to just nip up the steerer bolts a touch…
    I reckon a quarter turn less would be about right.

    Premier Icon philjunior
    Free Member

    I did notice a big difference in stiffness between a cheap carbon cycles alloy 65mm stem and a 50mm Renthal

    I doubt it would be the stem itself but it could conceivably be the interface between it and the bars.

    Premier Icon chiefgrooveguru
    Free Member

    I think it was one of these:

    vs one of these:

    Obviously quite different designs. I don’t know the wall thickness on the first stem but the 50mm Renthal weighs 139g and the 60mm Carbon Cycles 157g. Can the extra mass of the latter add enough wall thickness to make up for the smaller cross-section’s reduced torsional stiffness?

    Premier Icon philjunior
    Free Member

    Obviously quite different designs. I don’t know the wall thickness on the first stem but the 50mm Renthal weighs 139g and the 60mm Carbon Cycles 157g. Can the extra mass of the latter add enough wall thickness to make up for the smaller cross-section’s reduced torsional stiffness?

    I would guess it can more than make up for it as it’s a closed section rather than the 2 halves of the Renthal stem.
    Can’t remember the ratios but a circle with a gap is much much less stiff torsionally than a complete circle. The Renthal stem on its own will be less stiff – but as above, bear in mind that there will be negligible flex on an item like a stem anyway, as it’s so short (deflection is proportional to 1/length^3 and even angular deflection is proportional to 1/length^2), it could be the interface with the bars though – think about how thin the section is at the bolts, plus how the wall of the bars might flex depending on how the stem supports it.

    Premier Icon noltae
    Free Member

    My head says Brand X – My heart says Gammut

    Premier Icon BillOddie
    Full Member

    I best stay out of this after spending nearly a ton on Chromag stem…

    (Chromag frame means Chromag bars and stem are mandatory).

    Bloody lovely though…

    Premier Icon dragon
    Free Member

    Jesus that things ugly. Can’t see the point of and expensive stem for a modern mtb when it’s only 35mm in length. Still worth getting a decent one for the road where paying extra gets you a better stiffness to weight ratio.

    Odd to say but I still think my fav stems were the road ITM Millenium used by the likes of Mapei and Lance. Off road Easton used to make some cool looking stems. But in the new mtb world where they are just stumps of metal they all look ugly and function similarly.

Viewing 32 posts - 41 through 72 (of 72 total)

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